57 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-15-17

  1. Did you know that Mumsee went over to Moscow?
    And not nary a mention on MSNC, Fox or CNN.
    And it has more lasting significance than Trump junior talking to a Russian lawyer.

    I’m serious about that last statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear the people who visited Moscow during the Cold War, from Pullman, were there for the younger age accessible alcohol.

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  3. Well, since everyone else is fessing up, I will too.

    I too have been to Moscow. Several times in fact. It’s quite possible I met some Russians while there as well.

    I guess I should retain counsel now too.

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  4. Bill Kristol is right. Conservative thinkers need to be brainstorming and debating what conservatism is going to look like after Trump is gone. That is probably a better use of time than trying to pry people out of The Cult.

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  5. The White House’s antagonism toward the news media is born of genuine grievance and a calculated strategy that it plays well with Mr. Trump’s political base. But his hunger for press — which he nourished over 40 years of cultivating reporters, taking their calls on virtually any subject and calling them out of the blue to chat — remains undiminished.

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  6. Cruz hasn’t accomplished anything yet. And one more lost vote would doom his bill.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4697530/One-Republican-defection-doom-Senate-healthcare-bill.html

    President Donald Trump turned up the heat on Friday on fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate to pass a bill dismantling the Obamacare law, but with their retooled healthcare plan drawing fire within the party even one more defection would doom it.
    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has planned for a vote next week on revised legislation, unveiled on Thursday, and he has his work cut out for him in the coming days to get the 50 “yes” votes needed for passage. Republicans control the Senate by a 52-48 margin and cannot afford to lose more than two from within their ranks because of united Democratic opposition, but two Republican senators already have declared opposition.
    “After all of these years of suffering thru Obamacare, Republican Senators must come through as they have promised,” Trump, who made gutting Obamacare one of his central campaign promises last year, wrote on Twitter from Paris, where he attended Bastille Day celebrations.”
    ————————-

    Come thru as promised? Don’t hold your breath. I don’t seem to remember them promising to exempt themselves from their new legislation, but yet they are.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/republicans-exempted-insurance-obamacare-rollback

    “Senate budget rules are giving opponents of the rollback of the 2010 health care law an easy way to attack Republicans for hypocrisy.

    The Senate GOP may not really want to immunize their own member and staff health plans from their health care policy changes, but because they are seeking to bring their bill to the floor under the expedited budget reconciliation process, they have little choice.

    Sen. Ted Cruz has already unveiled a fix to nullify the exemption, but that bill would take 60 votes to overcome any filibuster attempts.

    “While this exemption was included in the Senate health care bill out of procedural necessity, we must still be diligent in ensuring that Members of Congress are treated just like other Americans under this law,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “This is an issue of fundamental fairness. Lawmakers are not above the laws that they pass and I believe that it is crucial that Members of Congress abide by the same laws that their own constituents follow.”

    The exemption has already prompted a web ad from the group Save My Care, which has been working against efforts to repeal and replace the health care law that took effect under President Barack Obama.

    “Senators did make the bill better for one group of Americans … themselves,” the ad says, citing a Thursday report from Vox.”
    ————————-

    Funny how that works out, huh?

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  7. And you know the lobbyists are working overtime on this as well. But will they be able to sway more no votes?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/insurers-oppose-cruz-amendment-to-republican-health-care-bill-1500087886

    “Insurers are ramping up their opposition to a new amendment in the Senate Republican health bill that would allow them to sell plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act requirements, an effort that could add to the challenges faced by GOP leaders trying to shepherd the legislation.

    The provision, backed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, would authorize insurers to sell coverage that wouldn’t meet ACA standards on the condition that they also sell at least some plans that did. While this setup could offer healthy people less expensive policies, insurers and actuaries say it would likely prove dysfunctional over time, pushing up rates and reducing offerings for people buying the compliant plans.

    In a letter sent Friday night to the Senate Republican and Democratic leadership, the two major associations representing health insurers, which don’t typically send such missives jointly, said the amendment “is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.””
    —————————–

    It’s already gonna cost a billion to Alaska to keep Murkowski on board. I’m sure more Senators will see her successful tactics and wants some kick-backs for their state too.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/senate-health-care-bill-bcra-alaska-lisa-murkowski-2017-7

    “The text of the newest version of the Senate healthcare bill contains a provision aimed at one Republican holdout: Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

    The Alaska senator would see a guarantee of funding for her state to combat high premiums, in a clear attempt to win over the senator who has been vocal in opposition to various elements of the bill.

    The provision has to do with the state stability fund, a pot of money that would be given to states to help deal with high insurance premiums and encourage people to sign up for coverage.

    Here’s the piece pertaining to Alaska (emphasis added):

    “The Administrator shall determine an appropriate procedure for providing and distributing funds under this subsection that includes reserving an amount equal to 1 percent of the amount appropriated under paragraph (1) for a calendar year for providing and distributing funds to health insurance issuers in States where the cost of insurance premiums are at least 75 percent higher than the national average.”

    A report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that pre-tax credit premiums in the 39 states with federal-run individual marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act will average $476 a month in 2017. In Alaska, the average monthly cost for premiums is an average of $1,041 for 2017, more than twice the national average.

    No other state would qualify for the 75% higher than average provisions, based on the HHS report.”
    ———————–

    About all that’s left for ObamaCare 2.0 is to start money bleeding state exchanges and offering exemptions next, for unions and other preferred groups. This is no better than the last flawed plan in many ways. But they’re in a hurry for an “accomplishment” so here we go again.

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  8. I agree with Krauthammer that bungled collusion is still collusion. But what exactly makes it bad?

    I don’t see what makes receiving information from one source bad and receiving it from a different source okay. What’s more important is what was the price of that information. If the Trump crowd promised something inappropriate to the Russians, something that compromised the interests of the United States or its allies, that would be very bad. Is there any evidence of such?

    Otherwise, what difference does it make where the information came from?

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  9. Kevin, Would it bother you if in 2020 the Iranians had penetrated the computer systems of the Republican candidate and the Republican National Committee and the child (picture Chelsea Clinton) and campaign manager of the Democratic candidate met with the Iranians in hopes of gaining negative information about the Republicans?

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  10. Is it OK for children of an American candidate to meet with North Korean representatives or representatives of ISIS or Al Qaeda in order gain dirt on an opponent?

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  11. In answering the questions @ 4:16, would it make a difference if the candidate’s child or campaign manager didn’t promise anything inappropriate to North Korea, ISIS or Al Qaeda?

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  12. I guess I’m jaded. Nothing done in the pursuit of partisan politics, on either side, particularly phases or stuns me. So I confess some of this is a big yawn to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Then there’s this

    TODAY’S “COLLUSION” NON-STORY

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/todays-collusion-non-story.php
    _____________________________

    … I agree with the complaint that the White House has not been candid about this meeting. I voiced that complaint here.

    However, I’m not convinced that the non-disclosure of Akhmetshin’s presence indicates any additional lack of candor or transparency. As far as the Post and the Times report, Trump Jr. never said that the Russian lawyer attended alone. It has been widely assumed that, at a minimum, a translator was present. Veselnitskya speaks little English.

    As for the identities of others who attended, there’s no indication or reason to believe that Trump Jr. remembered them a year after the fact. The most he could be expected to remember was that a translator was present.

    Apparently Akhmetshin is quite the man about town in Washington. But to Trump Jr. he probably was just some Russian guy. His presence, though noted at the time, likely would have signified nothing to the president’s son, though it might have meant something to Paul Manafort.

    Today, the only significance of Akhmetshin’s presence is that, given the guy’s splashy history, the anti-Trump media can feed off this scrap of a story for a while longer.
    ____________________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Steve Kornacki posted a Tweet that linked to a USA Today article on today’s subject. What I found interesting was Kornacki’s “Twitter storm”, his responses to his own Tweet. In this he gave a very good explanation of the hold Trump has on Congressional Republicans.

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  15. Kevin,

    The only thing that makes it bad is because it’s Trump. Sadly, that’s enough for RINO’s and Democrats. Their outrage is very selective indeed.

    Otherwise they’d have done the same in these cases. But they didn’t, because it didn’t matter then, there was no Trump.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/report-five-times-democrats-sought-russias-help-us-elections

    “Amid the liberal hysteria over e-mails released by President Donald Trump’s son regarding contact with a Russian attorney, a new report details five times Democrats sought Russia’s help with U.S. elections.

    In “5 Times Democrats Tried To Work With The Russians To Swing Elections,” the Daily Wire argues that “The Democrats don’t have the moral high ground here” regarding the contact Donald Trump, Jr. had with a Russian claiming to have disparaging information about then-candidate Hillary Clinton.

    The five instances of Democrat efforts at election collusion described and analyzed by Daily Mail:

    Former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) twice reached out to the Soviet Union for election help.
    In 2012, Barack Obama said to Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president at the time: “After my election I have more flexibility.”
    Jimmy Carter tried to work with the Soviets during the 1980 election to improve his chances against Ronald Reagan.
    Bill Clinton pledged to support Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996 if Yeltsin agreed “to clear up ‘negative’ issues.
    When Tip O’Neill was Speaker of the House, he wanted the Soviets on the Democrats’ side during the 1984 election. ”
    —————

    And there are plenty more involving Dems.

    http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/democrats-real-pervasive-collusion-with-russia-somehow-lost-in-medias-hysterical-anti-trump-campaign/

    “Now, for the Democrats.

    It’s an unfortunate and well-documented truth that the Democratic Party and its allies have for years fallen all over themselves actually colluding not just with Russia, but with its predecessor, the Soviet Union, which truly was an Evil Empire and a sworn enemy of the U.S. They’ve neither acknowledged it nor appear to feel that it’s in any way a problem. And now they act shocked — shocked! — a Republican dared to speak to a Russian.

    To see the hypocrisy inherent in this requires just a few recent examples. These are by no means exhaustive; there are many, many more.

    Hillary Clinton: President Trump’s 2016 foe, Hillary Clinton, presented her Russian counterpart with a famous gag “reset button.” It was supposed to represent a new era in U.S.-Russian ties. Instead, it was a transparent and pathetically weak attempt to appease Russia, which proceeded to annex the Crimea and parts of Ukraine during her tenure as secretary of state. But her ties to the Russians and collusion with them and other questionable nations went far deeper and was far more troubling than Donald Jr.’s ever was.

    Last January, Politico reported that the Democratic National Committee, acting on behalf of Hillary, actually contacted officials in the corrupt government of the Ukraine seeking opposition research against Trump. “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office,” Politico said. “They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisors.”

    Is that not collusion? By the way, Ukrainian-supplied information about Manafort meeting with Russian officials led to him being fired by Trump. So the DNC actually used the information.”
    ———————-

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  16. AJ, Krauthammer dealt with those arguments made by “Trump apologists”. Later he shortens the term to “Trumpites”. I must inform him that the proper term is “Trumpkins”.

    Here is what he said:

    “It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power. What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election? One might even add the work of groups supported by the U.S. during Russian parliamentary elections — the very origin of Vladimir Putin’s deep animus toward Clinton, then secretary of state, whom he accuses of having orchestrated the opposition.

    This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.

    A look at President Trump’s first year in office, so far
    View Photos Scenes from the Republican’s first months in the White House.
    What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?

    Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power that has repeatedly invaded its neighbors (Georgia, Crimea, eastern Ukraine), that buzzes our planes and ships in international waters, that opposes our every move and objective around the globe. Just last week the Kremlin killed additional U.N. sanctions we were looking to impose on North Korea for its ICBM test.”

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  17. Raising my hand to confess a Moscow visit.

    While there, my 11 year old daughter suggested the Mormon host “buy a good red wine for dinner,” celebrating our niece’s graduation from WSU vet school.

    So, perhaps I deserved to be arrested, too?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. How we have fallen!

    AJ’s mention of Kennedy’s attempted collusion with the Soviets reminded me of earlier days when conservatives and Republicans had honor:

    1. We would expect collusion with enemies from liberal Democrats and we knew the Soviets preferred the Democrats to Reagan, but we couldn’t imagine Republicans stooping to such a level.

    2. Reagan carefully studied issues and educated the American public on complicated issues such as the budget, tax reform and the need to reform our defenses. Now we get small bites of demagoguery from someone too lazy to even try to understand the issues.

    3. In the 80s, we learned hard facts from dozens of educated conservative writers who wrote books and columns in hundreds of local papers. Now some of us get their news from nitwits like Sean Hannity who discovers a new Clinton “murder victim” every couple of weeks.

    No wonder some of us think it is funny when our dishonest, half-wit president or his quarter-wit son try to collude with Russia.

    Just wait. You just thought the Democrats were dishonest and unprincipled before. Trump has lowered the bar several more notches – to a level this old Reaganite could never have imagined.

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  19. So, except for multiple peeps admitting to visits to MOSCOW, we are back to All Trump, All the Time!! Disappointing.

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  20. Yesterday, we had articles on labor market participation and Chinese dissidents. Douthat’s weekend column is on the Pope and potential changes in the Catholic Church.

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  21. @4:23 Ricky, just a note: when you have to liken Russia to known terrorist organizations and a rabid rogue state, you’ve already lost the argument.

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  22. Debra, Do you view Russia as more like Monaco or Luxembourg? From what foreign nations do you think American politicians should feel free to solicit dirt on their opponents?

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  23. Wow. One of McMullin’s buddies at the CIA, and a host of McMullin’s at the Belfer Center thinks just like he does, despite no evidence. Talk about not breaking news…. 🙄

    Yawn.

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  24. AJ is clearly right. Who in their right mind would trust the opinion of an experienced Western intelligence operative over the thoughts of a college dropout like Sean Hannity?

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  25. A few thoughts for Sunday morning: It may be interesting to consider what ‘Conservatism’ should look like in the next few years. The battles over our country’s ‘isms’ (capitalism, socialism, globalism, liberalism, conservatism, etc.) are *very* seductive. However, they seem designed to carry focus away from righteousness. Meanwhile, poverty and violence walk hand in hand through many of our neighborhoods. Shootings are far too common-place. Illegal drugs offer oblivion at epidemic levels, while legally obtained prescriptions take the edge off for shocking numbers of harried office workers who can not imagine making it through the day without their Xanax.

    Real hope is not to be found among the ‘isms’. The Lord always leaves a door open somewhere for His followers to walk through. And there is a proven way to eliminate poverty from our nation if we cared to grab it: follow the LORD our God. It’s not that difficult to know what He wants from us. Even in our economics. Deuteronomy 15 instructs us how to obey Him in our banking by lending righteously and releasing our debts after 7 years. In the US we used to do that for consumer debt, until Greed was declared a virtue.

    And we have this promise, that if we follow after Him, and we are dealt with unrighteously by our government or by lenders, we can cry out to Him, and He’ll take care of it—-in His way. He brings governments down, and He raises them up. Of course, if we don’t follow Him, all bets are off. :–)

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Ricky, @9:26; 9:44 I would much prefer NONE. But either I’m less naive or more candid that you are on the subject, because even I have been aware that these things are pretty much business as usual since Reagan at least. Sadly. There is little privacy for sausage-making now.

    God sees all, and things will be settled accordingly in due time.

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  27. Debra, I also prefer NONE. Since you are less naive or more candid and since “these things are pretty much business as usual”, please give us a list of those countries from which Reagan, Big Bush, Dole, Little Bush, McCain or Romney solicited dirt on their opponents.

    I will make it easy for you. Give me one example where any of those honorable men or their staffs and/or children solicited dirt on their opponents from another nation.

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  28. Reagan. 1980. I wasn’t thinking of the solicitation of dirt; that’s politics as usual as far as I can see. I was thinking of conferring with a foreign government perhaps to win an election, or to circumvent US law.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/15/world/new-reports-say-1980-reagan-campaign-tried-to-delay-hostage-release.html

    By the way, I’m not defending Trump. If his campaign did something prosecutable, let him be impeached. I won’t call it either just or unjust—simply hypocritical, which is more a comment on his accusers than on him. He’s clearly floundering and needs our prayers, as does the whole country.

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  29. Cost containment is the main issue in health care. A market solution would be to shrink the demand (let people die) or increase supply (deregulate medicine, allow quacks and let buyer beware). For the most part people reject those solutions so….manipulate the market — give nurses more responsibilities -they’re cheaper than doctors, standard prices, shorter drug patents, limited spending on advertising and marketing, etc. Above all accept that govt reg is inevitable — its limited oligopoly like utilities — and approach the issue with common sense and compassion not ideology.

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  30. Bob — when Obama was president, speculation was rife — birth certificate, islam, socialism, etc. Now Trump is president and the focus is on him. He’s your president and people will talk about him esp when the Russian story has far more evidence than any Obama story.

    Many politicians including Reagan attempt to manipulate foreign policy to benefit domestic policy. However an attempt to fin dirt (with an accompanying paper trail) suggests a quid pro quo far quicker than any manipulations. Although it pains me to say this, I don’t think Reagan’s offense is in the same league as Trump.

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  31. Yet another failure for Congressional Republicans who had been promising a vote. It’s becoming a theme with them.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MCCAIN_BLOOD_CLOT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-07-15-22-56-36

    ” Sen. John McCain’s absence from the Senate as he recovers from surgery for a blood clot has led the GOP leadership to postpone consideration of health care legislation already on the brink.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday night he was deferring action on the measure as McCain recovers at his home in Arizona. Surgeons in Phoenix removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye on Friday. The 80-year-old Senate veteran was advised by doctors to remain in Arizona next week, his office said.

    “While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act,” McConnell said in a statement.”
    ——————————–
    They’re deferring consideration because they don’t have the votes.

    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342226-paul-i-dont-think-mcconnell-has-votes-to-pass-healthcare-bill-right-now

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  32. Sorry, Debra. Investigations and articles from the left, center and right concluded that your story was garbage. The lie was started by fringe Democrat Lyndon LaRouche, who was almost as big a nut and weirdo as Trump.

    http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/4249

    Care to try again? You say “politics as usual” but let me make your assignment clear:

    Give us one example at any time in the last 40 years where any Republican Presidential candidate other than Trump solicited dirt on another candidate from any foreign nation. It doesn’t have to be a hostile power. It can be Denmark or Monaco. I’m only looking for one example. Demonstrate your candor. Show how naive I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. They’ve over-saturated the market, and now they act shocked that nobody’s buying the product these hypocrites are pushing. People are sick of them crying wolf.

    https://spectator.org/the-medias-endless-anti-trump-show-trial/

    “t is a measure of the anti-Trump media’s stupidity and malpractice that the phrase “breaking news” now elicits eye rolls. The media’s “breaking news” about Trump is rarely breaking or news. It is usually recycled and old — some stale piece of information, relating to a practice both parties long ago adopted, that is sensationalized and dished up as novel. Into this category falls much of its breathless “Trump-Russia” coverage, including its all-hands-on-deck stories about Donald Trump Jr.

    “It is called opposition research,” said President Trump on Thursday at a press conference in Paris in defense of his son.

    From the hair-on-fire hysterics of the Democrats and their patrons in the press, one would think they had never taken a meeting with a foreigner or searched for dirt on a political rival. Of course, they have — and never more so than during their quest to torpedo Trump’s candidacy. What was the “Steele dossier” fiasco but a Dem/media attempt to collude with Brits to stop Trump?”

    Had BuzzFeed not released the contents of that transparently ridiculous and bogus dossier, the self-appointed ruling class would still be talking about it. Lightweights in the press, straining to sound deep, will recite such quotes as “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed,” even as their coverage rests upon the biggest lie of all: the assertion of imaginary Trump-Russia criminal collusion based on nothing more than false, fragmentary leads that came from their own collusion with foreign powers.

    Just a few months ago, the sunshine patriots of the press were extolling John Brennan and Susan Rice for spying on Americans on the basis of “tips” that they had received from Estonia, Sweden, and Great Britain, foreign powers that were gunning for Trump’s defeat. Recall the Pravda-like headline Maggie Haberman of the New York Times used to whitewash the spying of Susan Rice: “Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dem and Republican House Aides.”

    Take pretty much any headline the media has used to sanitize the political espionage of the Dems against Trump, substitute Donald Trump Jr.’s name into it, and you will see that the smears against him and his father carry all the evidentiary weight of a Soviet show trial.

    “Donald Trump Jr. Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dem and Republican House Aides” — the only reason you don’t see that headline is because the ruling class hates the Trumps and loves the Dems.

    Beneath all the bluster of the Dem-media complex lies a bald double standard, which amounts to saying to Trump: You must never do what we do all the time!”
    ——————

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  34. AJ,

    A whopping 36 percent of the people aren’t buying. Trump has the lowest 6 month approval rating for a President in 70 years.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/president-trump-six-month-approval-rating-lowest-record-article-1.3330385

    I agree that those 36% are sticking with him. They have their own set of facts that flow straight from Trump Cult Central. Those interesting “facts” include tapps, murders by Hillary Clinton, Comey was a “nut-job”, evil acts by Nordstrom and Australia, millions of fraudulent votes, everybody does it, Mika’s facelift, Hillary set Little Trump up to collude and the Secret Service failed to stop him, millions of invisible people in the Inaugural crowd, etc.

    After Watergate, journalists were the heroes. They are becoming heroes again … at least to the 64%.

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  35. Just think.

    If Don Jr. . hadn’t met with a Russian lawyer, Hillary Clinton would be president now.
    Boggles the mind.

    No?
    Then what’s the fuss about?

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Here’s your poll breakdown as I see it……

    36% of combined Republicans and Independents see what the media and Democrats are doing, and aren’t buying it.

    50% are Dems and their leaning Indies, and they would say they disapprove even if he cured cancer.

    The remaining 14% are the clueless folks who have no opinion either way, or a clue, and Republicans like yourself who hate Trump and the disruption he’s caused to your efforts for a globalist Utopia.

    That about sums up the polls. Exactly as I’d expect them to be. And about as useful as 538’s numbers that assured everyone it would be Hillary in a landslide. Not very.

    Just think, you only have 3 and half more years to go. 🙂

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  37. AJ, Can you tell me the specific ways that your moronic hero has disrupted my efforts for a “globalist Utopia” or is that a cult secret? All I have witnessed is Trump making a colossal fool of himself on a daily basis for six months.

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  38. Ricky,

    I guess Mona spoke too soon.

    I guess she’ll have to change the title to “Ted Cruz’s Big Legislative Moment Failure.”

    Probably explains why they no longer have the votes.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/07/freedom-option-no-longer-in-senate-health-care-bill/

    “A few days ago, Kemberlee provided an overview of what is new in the GOP’s revamped health care bill. One thing that has turned out to be absent from the new version is the Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) “Freedom Option” touted by conservatives and a lynchpin in scoring skittish conservative Senators’ votes.

    On July 14th, the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Blue Cross sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to drop the Freedom Option.

    As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association urge the Senate to strike the “Consumer Freedom Option” from the bill. It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical
    conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.

    It appears that this advice was followed because the Freedom Option no longer appears in the Senate bill.

    Cato Institute reports:
    The other day, I wrote a piece lauding an amendment Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was proposing to add to the Senate GOP’s health care bill. Cruz called it the Consumer Freedom Amendment. If insurers offered two ObamaCare-compliant plans to all comers, the Cruz amendment would have freed them to sell–and freed consumers to purchase–health-insurance plans that did not comply with those regulations.

    The legislative language I saw appeared to free consumers, not from all the regulations I would like, but from enough that it would have made the Senate bill a step in the right direction. It also included more restrictions on the use of this “freedom option” than I would like, but same thing. The changes would have dramatically reduced premiums for consumers. Perhaps more important, it would have offered more comprehensive and more secure coverage to people who develop expensive illnesses than ObamaCare does.

    In the newly-released version of the bill, however, the language has substantively changed.

    Cato continues:
    This draft imposes ObamaCare’s “single risk pool” price controls on “freedom option” plans. Long story short, that means there is no “freedom option” in this bill. Insurers probably would not even offer non-compliant plans. If they did, ObamaCare’s “single risk pool” price controls would make secure, guaranteed-renewable health insurance impossible by taxing such plans to death.

    . . . . I’m not saying there’s no way Senate Republicans can redeem their bill. I have offered ideas that might. But at this point, the Cruz amendment does not redeem or even add to the bill.”

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  39. AJ @ 7:53

    Mona gave Cruz credit for learning about healthcare and proposing conservative solutions. Your hero has remained completely ignorant through the whole process and spent the last three days sitting on his fat rear-end at the golf tournament typing out whiny Tweets against the press.

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  40. Ricky, I shouldn’t have implied you are naive or lacking candor—neither is true. But I can’t help it if you don’t accept the NYT as a source. Reagan was a classic example. His collaboration in Iran-Contra (along with VP George Bush) only demonstrates how deep the deal went. They got away with it. I’m not their judge, I’m just pointing it out.

    L. Larouche is a name I haven’t heard in many years. I once knew a Larouche-kie (as I used to call him). If a person doesn’t have a Faith, it seems these parties and ideologies are the substitute of choice.

    When my friend began to leave the Labor Party, he lost friends and acted a little shell-shocked. At the time, I did think it must be a cult. But now, ‘cult’ has been degraded to an insult for Trump supporters. If there is an actual cult around Trump, I don’t see any sign of it. Desperation doesn’t qualify. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

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